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Publication numberUS3690650 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 12, 1972
Filing dateDec 17, 1970
Priority dateDec 17, 1970
Also published asCA962706A1, DE2162918A1, DE2162918B2, DE2162918C3
Publication numberUS 3690650 A, US 3690650A, US-A-3690650, US3690650 A, US3690650A
InventorsMaier Robert E Jr, Mcginnis Joseph P, Simon Paul R
Original AssigneeHarris Intertype Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for feeding sheet material into a hopper
US 3690650 A
Abstract
Apparatus which delivers sheet material such as signatures to a hopper from which the sheet material is subsequently delivered to another apparatus such as a gatherer. A conveyor delivers the sheet material to the hopper to maintain a pile stack of sheet material therein. The material is delivered by the conveyor in bursts to facilitate the accumulation of the sheet material within the hopper. The apparatus further comprises one or more joggers which cyclically strike an edge portion of the sheet material being delivered in a period to ensure that the sheet material is evenly accumulated within the hopper.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 3,690, 50

Maier, Jr. et al. [45] Sept. 12, 1972 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR 2,273,689 2/1942 Boron et al ..27l/89 FEEDING SHEET MATERIAL INTO A Rl6,779 11/1927 Maxner ..271/89 X HOPPER OTHER PUBLICATIONS [72] Inventors: Robert E. Maier, Jr., Easton; Joseph p McGilmis, Raubsvme; Paul Frehl, M.; Hopper Card Joggler I.B.M. Technlcal Simon Allentown, an of Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 2, July 1961, p. 1

[ g Hmis-Intertyre Corporation, Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunk Cleveland Ohm Assistant ExaminerBruce H. Stoner, Jr. [22] Filed; D 17, 1970 Attorney-Yount & Tarolli 21 Appl. 616.; 99,066

[57] ABSTRACT Apparatus which delivers sheet material such as signa- [52] Cl "g $i tures to a hopper from which the sheet material is sub- 511 Int. Cl... ..B65h 29/16,B65h 31/38 Sequemly del'vered other apparatus Such as a gatherer. A conveyor delivers the sheet material to the [58] meld hopper to maintain a Pi e stack of sheet material therein. The material is delivered by the conveyor in bursts to facilitate the accumulation of the sheet [56] References Cited material within the hopper. The apparatus further UNITED ST E PATENTS comprises one or more joggers which cyclically strike 3,522,943 8/1978 Swanson "271 mm. 7 an edge portion of the sheet material being delivered in a period to ensure that the sheet material is evenly 3,422,969 1/1969 Miller et a1. ..2l4/6 D 1,633,937 6/1927 Ford ..27l/89 x accumulated the hopper" 958,798 5/1910 Fischer et a1. ..27i/89 30 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP 12 m2 SHEET 2 0F 5 f m W WWW W map M METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FEEDING SHEET MATERIAL INTO A HOPPER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION stantially predetermined size in the hopper of a machine for advancing the sheet material, one unit at a time, to another machine operation. By way of example, the sheet material to be positioned within the hopper can comprise groups of signatures of the type which make up a magazine or sections of a newspaper such as the main section. The invention can be used in conjunction with a hopper for feeding sheets of material to a book trimmer, a cover feeder of a binder, a newspaper stuffing machine, a mailing machine or a labeling machine. v I

In the gathering of the signatures which make up a book such as a magazine or in the assembly of a newspaper by a stuffing machine, it is necessary to maintain a supply of the sheet material in each hopper. Experience has shown that the loading of bundles or stacks of signatures into a hopper, all at once, in order to maintain some reference level of supply therein usually interferes with the proper operation of the gatherer removing the signatures from the bottom portion of the hopper. The reason why the delivery of a large number of signatures into the hopper at one time becomes a problem is that the mass of added signatures prevents the signatures from assuming the correct positions within the hopper. Furthermore, the delivery of a mass of signatures at one time means an instantaneous increase of force applied to the signatures already in the hopper. The increase in force can interfere with the removal of the bottommost signature in the hopper.

Experience has further shown that evenif signatures are delivered to a hopper on an individual basis such as by hand or by a flow issuing from a conveyor, unsatisfactory operation can result if the signatures are not correctly oriented within the hopper. With a lack of proper orientation it becomes inevitable that the gatherer mechanism for sequentially removing the bottommost signature will periodically operate in an incorrect manner with the result that a miss occurs or a double is delivered.

Thus it can be seen that heretofore there has been a problem resulting from both the manner by which signatures have been delivered to a hopper and in the manner by which attempts have been made to position the signatures correctly within the hopper.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides a method and apparatus for feeding signatures in bursts to a hopper from a supply of signatures in order to prevent the sudden placing of a mass of signatures in order to prevent the sudden placing of a mass of signatures upon those already in the hopper and to enable the hopper to position the signatures in the burst correctly within the hopper. An apparatus constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention senses the lowering of the stack of signatures within the hopper beneath a predetermined size of stack. The output signal from the sensing of the presence of a low level within the hopper activates a conveyor to deliver a stream of signatures in shingled form to the hopper. In accordance with the invention the operation of the conveyor is interrupted to form bursts of operation having a predetermined duration and a predetermined period between successive bursts. A level switch within the hopper is actuated whenever the stack of signatures within the hopper falls below a minimum level. The signal from the level switch controls a timer which has a predetermined duty cycle of on and off periods. In turn, the timer during its on period of operation activates the conveyor to deliver signatures to the hopper in a burst having a time duration which is a function of the on" period of operation of the timer. The delivery of one or more bursts of signatures into the hopper actuates the level switch and terminates the operation of the timer and also the infeed conveyor. The cycle is repeated whenever the level of signatures within the hopper falls below the predetermined level at which the sensing switch is actuated. t The invention further providesa method and apparatus for positioning the signatures of the bursts of signatures within the hopper. One or more joggers each forming a wall portion of the hopper strike an edge portion of the signatures within the burst of signatures and cause rapid movement of each-signature within the hopper as each signature descends upon the supply of signatures already in the hopper. In an embodiment of the jogger construction, blasts of gas such as compressed air are used to enable the signatures to move relative to the ones adjacent thereto by minimizing the contact and friction between adjacent signatures. Thus the blasts of compressed air enable the joggers to force the signatures into their proper position within the hopper.

In addition, the invention provides a method and ap paratus for placing bundles or stacks of signatures onto the conveyor which delivers the signatures to the hopper in accordance with the invention. A supporting surface is pivotally mounted adjacent to the end portion of the conveyor opposite the end portion thereof which delivers the signatures to the hopper. The supporting surface has an operable position in which the plane of the supporting surface is in alignment with and substantially coplanar with the surface of the conveyor. In the retracted position of the supporting member it extends downwardly from the end portion of the end feed conveyor. With this construction the individual operating the machine can conveniently place a bundle or stack of signatures upon the supporting surface in its retracted position adjacent to the flow of the plant in which the machine is installed. Subsequently the individual can elevate the pivotally mounted supporting surface in order to position the bundle or stack of material for transfer directly onto the infeed conveyor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Embodiments of the apparatus of the invention which operate in accordance with the method of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the invention showing the device for delivering signatures to a conveyor system, the conveyor system and its drives, and the hopper to which the signatures are to be delivered;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section view of a hopper having a jogger in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical section view of a drive for moving the jogger shown in FIG. 3 with a swinging motion;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view of the hopper including the jogger as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of another embodiment of the hopper of the invention showing both the side jogger and the end jogger;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical section view taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6 and showing the drive to the side jogger and end jogger of the hopper; and

FIG. 8 is a schematic representation of the control circuit for producing the delivery of bursts of signatures by the conveyor.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The machine of the invention as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises hopper feeder 10 which is adapted to deliver sheet material such as signatures or sections of newspapers 11 to hopper 12 from which the signatures or newspapers are delivered to another machine. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 hopper 12 delivers newspapers to the pockets 13 of a newspaper stuffing machine 14. Thus for example, after delivery of newspapers 11 into pocket 13, the newspapers are disposed with the fold of the newspaper adjacent to the bottom portion of a pocket with the result that the newspaper section assumes a V-shaped form into which inserts may be placed by the stuffing machine.

The hopper feeder is mounted upon frame 15 which is supported by rollers 16 which enable the hopper feeder to be moved with respect to the hopper whenever access must be had to the hopper for service or the like. The frame of the machine supports table 17 across which extends a first conveyor 18 which can be an endless belt conveyor having one or a plurality of conveyor belts. Table 17 provides a surface upon which bundles or stacks of newspapers can be placed for subsequent advancement by the hopper feeder toward hopper 12.

To facilitate the placement of stacks 19 of newspapers upon table 17, the hopper feeder can be provided with carrier 20 which is pivotally and slidably mounted with respect to table 17. In order to load stack 19 of newspapers onto table 17, the machine operator places the stack upon bracket 20a of carrier 20. By way of example, newspapers 11 can be placed upon bracket 20a with the folded portion extending from right-to-left across each page of the section in a vertical position and extending into the drawing as viewed in FIG. 1. The operator would then swing carrier 20 upwardly about its pivot 20b until the carrier is in a substantially horizontal position in which the upper surface of the carrier would be coplanar with the upper surface of table 17 and the upper reaches of the first conveyor. At this point the operator can slide the pivot 20b along tracks 21 within table 17 until stack 19 of the newspaper sections is transferred onto the first conveyor. Thus it can be seen that carrier 20 eliminates the need for the operator to lift the stacks to the height of table 17 since the carrier supports a good portion of the weight of the stack as it is elevated into its operative position shown by dash lines in FIG. 1. In addition, the pivotal mounting of the carrier reduces the overall length of the machine as compared to the same machine having a fixed infeed table in advance of conveyor 18. Stack 19 on table 17 can have the folded portion of each of the sections of the newspaper contiguous with plate or back wall 22 extending vertically along the length of the machine.

Downstream of first conveyor 18 there is disposed second conveyor 23, the upper reach of which is substantially coplanar with that of conveyor 18. The downstream end portion of the second conveyor is adjacent to the entrance portion of third conveyor 24 which is inclined upwardly in the direction of hopper 12. The final or fourth conveyor 25 of the hopper feeder extends in a substantially horizontal direction adjacent to the entrance portion of the hopper. As in the case of the first conveyor, the remaining conveyors can be of the endless belt type.

Each of the conveyors is provided with its own drive extending from a clutch which connects the drive to a source of power such as an electric motor. Thus, first conveyor 18 includes drive chain 18a coupling the conveyor to clutch 18b which in turn is connected to motor 18c. Second conveyor 23 is provided with chain 23a, clutch 23b and motor 230. Chain 24a, clutch 24b and motor 240 provide power for conveyor 24. In a similar manner, chain 25a, clutch 25b and motor 250 drive the fourth conveyor 25.

In order to control the hopper feeder to provide bursts of signatures or newspaper sections to hopper 12, it is necessary to maintain a supply of newspapers moving from the first conveyor to the second conveyor and extending along the third conveyor. On the third conveyor the stacks of newspapers can topple to the right as viewed in FIG. 1 as the bottommost newspaper section begins to travel upwardly along conveyor 24. In order to sense the presence or absence of the newspapers along the first three conveyors, sensing devices 26, 27 and 28 such as sensitive electrical switches are disposed adjacent to the first, second and third conveyors, respectively. Thus, as is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, switch 26 is disposed adjacent to the downstream end portion of the first conveyor, switch 27 is disposed adjacent to the elevated downstream portion of the second conveyor, and switch 28 is disposed adjacent to the downstream portion of the third conveyor. In this way, switches 26 and 27 can sense the passage of the last newspaper of a stack with respect to the conveyors adjacent thereto.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, hopper 12 includes bottom plate 120, side plates 12b and end plates 12c and 12d which form an enclosure into which the newspaper sections are to be delivered. Hopper 12 is supported by frame members l2e with respect to stuffing machine 14. A gatherer mechanism (not shown) removes the lowermost signature disposed upon plate 12a through a slot between the edge portion of plate 12a and the lower edge portion adjacent thereto of plate 12b and advances the lowermost newspaper section along guides 29 into pocket 13 of the stuffing machine. In

operation it is necessary to maintain a predetermined size of stack of newspaper sections with the hopper as shown in FIG. 1 and, consequently, it is necessary to sense the presence of the predetermined size of stack of newspaper sections. Therefore, within the hopper there is provided sensing switch 30 which has arm 31 extending through one of the side or end plates of the hopper at the position of the top of the desired predetermined size of stack of newspaper sections within the hopper.

When the level of newspapers within hopper 12 is below the low limit, the contacts of normally closed switch 30 are in the closed position (FIG. 8). In the normally closed position of switch 30, relay 32 is energized. Switch 28 which is mounted adjacent to the elevated downstream position of third conveyor 24 is a normally closed switch and therefore when no newspapers are positioned upon switch 28, its contacts are closed. Switch 28 is connected to the winding of relay 33. As a result, the relay is only deenergized when the normally closed contacts of switch 28 are caused to be opened by the presence of newspapers along third conveyor 24 and overlying switch 28. Contacts 33a of relay 33 are normally closed and therefore these contacts are ,closed whenever newspaper sections are present along the third conveyor. Contacts 34 are part of a relay (not shown) for selectively energizing the entire machine and are closed whenever the system of the invention is to be operated.

Timer 35 which is connected in series with contacts 33a and 34, is adapted to produce predetermined periods of the opening and closing of timer contacts 35a. When the timer is deenergized by the opening of contacts 33a, contacts 35a of the timer rest in the opened condition. Timer 35 is adjustable for obtaining predetermined periods of the on time" of contacts 35a and the off time" of contacts 35a. By way of example, both the off time and the on time can be adjusted over a range extendingfrom approximately 0.2 to 10 seconds. Further, by way of example, a device which can be used as timer 35 is manufactured by Eagle Signal, a division of Gulf and Western Industries, Inc. of Davenport, Iowa and is described as Transistorized Timers, CG 100 Series.

Since hopper level switch 30 is normally closed when there is an insufficient level of newspaper sections within the hopper, it can be seen that it enables timer contacts 35a to energize relay 32 whenever the hopper level switch is closed. In turn, relay 32 when energized closes the normally open contacts 32a-d which are connected to electric clutches 18b, 23b, 24b, and 25b, respectively. Consequently, the energizing of relay 32 enables the clutches to engage each of motors 18a, 23a, 24a, and 25a and thereby enable each of the four conveyors to be operated. As shown in FIG. 8, switches 26 and 27 control latching relays 180 which control contact 18d connected between contact 32a and clutch 1812.

If there are no newspaper sections disposed along the third conveyor 24, then the contacts of normally closed switch 28 are closed, thereby energizing relay 33. In turn the energizing of relay 33 causes its normally closed contacts 33a to open and thereby interrupt the circuit to timer 35. At the same time, the energizing of relay 33 causes the closing of normally open contacts 33b and as a result a circuit is connected to relay 32 through contacts 33b any time hopper level switch 30 is closed. In this way it can be seen that timer'35 is eliminated from the control circuit so long as newspaper sections are not available on conveyor 24.

In a condition where there is an insufficient level of newspaper sections in hopper l2, relay 32 is energized and in turn contacts 32a-d are energized. In this initial condition, contact 18d is closed. With first conveyor 18 and second conveyor 23 operating, a stack 19 of newspaper sections can be advanced from the first conveyor over switch 26 to the second conveyor. First conveyor 18 continues to operate after the passage of the first bundle 19 across switch 26 due to the holding action of latching relays 18d until the second bundle arrives at switch 26. The latching relays are then actuated by the operation of switch 26 to open switch contacts 18d and cause the disengagement of clutch 18b to motor 18a. As a result, the first conveyor ceases to operate and holds the second bundle adjacent to the entrance to the second conveyor.

With third conveyor 24 and fourth conveyor 25 operating, the first bundle of newspapers are carried away from the second conveyor. As soon. as the last newspaper in the first bundle has passed beyond switch 27, the operation of switch 27 actuates latching relays to close switch contacts 18d and cause clutch 18b of the first conveyor to be again engaged. As a result, motor 18a drives the conveyor and advances the second bundle of newspapers. The cycle continues as the third bundle of newspapers arrives at switch 26. The operation of switch 26 actuates latching relays 18c to open contacts 18a and cause the termination of the drive of motor 18a to the first conveyor. In this way it can be seen that a supply of bundles of newspapers to the third conveyor is maintained as long as the third and fourth conveyors are delivering newspapers to the hopper.

As long as the hopper level switch is closeddue to an insufficient height of newspapers within the hopper, relay 32 is cycled on and off by timer 35. As a result, the cycling of the third and fourth conveyors causes the newspapers to be delivered in bursts of predetermined duration and with predetermined time gaps therebetween. Consequently, the hopper receives the newspapers in bursts rather than in a continuous stream.

Experience has shown that many of the problems related to the handling of heavy signatures such as the sections of a newspaper in a hopper which is delivering signatures to a high speed gatherer are eliminated by the method of feeding the hopper in bursts rather than continuously. As is described hereinafter, the hopper can be adapted to work a limited number of incoming signatures in a burst by striking an edge portion of each of the signatures because of the limited mass of signatures and the fact that the limited number do not press with excessive force upon one another and upon the signatures already in the hopper. In contradistinction the delivery of a continuous flow of signatures, especially where they are of a heavy nature, presents an excessive mass for the hopper to work upon and in addition causes the signatures to bear with excessive friction and pressure upon one another. Since the timer 35 can be conveniently adjusted for the duration of the on time and off time of contacts 35a, the bursts can be conveniently adjusted during operation to obtain a mode of operation in which there is a minimum of stoppages associated with the hopper or the gatherer.

As soon as one or more bursts of newspaper sections are delivered into the hopper and hopper level switch is actuated by the presence of the predetermined level of sections within the hopper, the contacts of switch 30 open and thereby interrupt the circuit to relay 32 which actuates the drives to the conveyors. At this point the termination of the operation of the third and fourth conveyors prevents the delivery of sections to the hopper. In actual practice the termination of the operation of the third and fourth conveyors can be of a substantially short duration, although somewhat longer than the period of time between bursts. Thus when delivering newspaper sections, several short bursts can occur with short time intervals therebetween, followed by a somewhat longer time interval before the next sequence of bursts. Here it should. be understood that the level of signatures in the hopper is a continuously changing level since the gatherer is continuously removing signatures from the bottom of the hopper while the hopper feeder is delivering one burst of signatures after another to the open top portion of the hopper. As a result, the operation of switch 30 and the delivery of one burst after another results in the presence for a good portion of the time of a number of signatures which are being worked upon by the hopper which are descending upon the signatures already in the hopper. As a result, it can be understood that operation with the bursts results in a dynamic type of operation rather than a simply interrupted but otherwise static type of operation.

In the case of delivering newspaper sections, it has been found to be of advantage to operate the conveyor 25 continuously so that it serves simply as a speeder belt. With this arrangement contact 32d of relay 32 is shunted by optional switch 32e so that clutch 25b can be caused to remain engaged at all times by closing switch 32e. In this way it is possible to maintain the drive of the fourth conveyor continuously. With this arrangement the interruption of the operation of third conveyor 24 by the timer alone is sufficient to form bursts in response to the hopper level switch 30. After one or more bursts, fourth conveyor 25 continues to operate and thereby discharge all of the newspaper sections delivered to it prior to the interruption of the operation of third conveyor 24. Consequently, the fourth conveyor empties itself after each burst or each interruption of the third conveyor occurs. With this arrangement there is no time at which the sections of a burst being delivered are stopped once they leave the third conveyor. Thus the fourth conveyor whenever the third conveyor delivers a burst to it always delivers a continuously moving burst of sections to the hopper.

If a condition should occur in which the supply of sections along the third conveyor is depleted, then the contacts of switch 28 would assume their normally closed condition. As a result, relay 33 would be actuated and cause normally closed contacts 33a to open, thereby cutting out the timer. At the same time the energizing of relay 33 causes contacts 33b to close, thus placing relay 32 directly under the control of the hopper level switch without the presence of the burst interruptions otherwise provided by timer contacts 35 a. The purpose of this arrangement is to enable the third conveyor to be operated continuously whenever sections of newspapers are not actuating switch 28 and thereby the third conveyor can be refilled with sections in the shortest amount of time following such a depletion condition.

Hopper 36 in FIG. 3 is an embodiment of hopper 12 of FIG. 1. Signatures 11 such as the signatures of a book or magazine are advanced toward hopper 36 by fourth conveyor 25 which extends about idler roller 37 supported by shaft 38. The hopper comprises side walls 39, end wall 40 and bottom plate 41 having a curved upper surface 410 which forms an opening with respect to the lower portion of end wall 40. The signatures are removed by a gatherer mechanism, a portion of which is identified by reference numeral 42. In addition, the gatherer includes device 43 for supporting the remainder of the newspaper sections as the bottommost section is removed by gatherer mechanism 42.

During operation it is necessary that the signatures upon passing about the end portion of the fourth conveyor, rapidly and smoothly descend into the hopper upon the stack of signatures already therein. In addition it is necessary for the proper operation of the gatherer that the signatures in the hopper be evenly and uniformly stacked against end wall 40. Thus any tendency for the signatures to bunch up or pile up in an uneven fashion within the hopper will interrupt the feeding by the gatherer mechanism.

In accordance with the method of the invention the signatures are caused to pass over the upper curved surface 44a of each of a plurality of joggers 44 which are continually moved with a swinging motion. Inner surface 44b of each of the joggers is adapted to strike the trailing edge portion of each of the signatures in order to assist the descent of the signatures in the hopper and to urge the signatures to be stacked in the hopper evenly and flush against the inner surface of end wall 40.

By way of example, the plurality of joggers 44 can include three joggers formed from comparatively thick plate-like material and disposed along shaft 45 spaced apart from one another (FIG. 5). A block 46 attached to each of the joggers by screws 47 enables the joggers to be fixedly mounted along the shaft by means of clamps 48 which are secured to the blocks by screws 49. A portion of the surface of the shaft is flat in cross section in order to locate the joggers mechanically to the shaft when clamps 48 are installed.

Curved surface 44a of each of the joggers is at a minimum radial distance with respect to the center of shaft 45 adjacent to the interior portion of the hopper and at a maximum radial distance adjacent to portion 446 of the jogger. Thus the radial dimension progressively reduces along the curved surface moving from portion 440 toward the interior of the hopper. This con struction enables the joggers to assist the directing and the lowering of the signatures into the hopper since any portion of a signature in contact with a jogger gradually approaches the center of shaft 45 which is adjacent the bottom portion of the hopper as the portion of the signature moves along the curved surface. Additionally, the curved surface adjacent to portion 440 imparts a forward thrust to the signature as it is about to leave engagement with the joggers.

Joggers 44 are subjected to a reciprocating or swinging motion by being driven by cam 50 mounted upon shaft 38 adjacent to one end portion thereof. Cam 50 which can be a substantially square cam with rounded corner portions has its surface 50a in engagement with roller follower 51. The follower is pivotally mounted upon lever 52 which is clamped to shaft 45 by screw 53. Spring 54 attached at one end by screw 55 to lever 52 biases roller follower 51 into engagement with surface 50a of the cam since the other end of the spring is secured by pin 54a to the frame of the machine. With this arrangement cam 50 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4 whenever shaft 38 is rotating. In turn, cam 50 by means of roller follower 51 and lever 52 imparts a reciprocating or swinging motion to the joggers mounted upon shaft 45. Of course when conveyor 25 is operated continuously as a speeder belt, cam 50 is operated continuously and therefore the swinging of joggers 44 would be continu- Joggers 44 have been found to be particularly suited to the handling of signatures which have a substantial large dimension in a direction extending transversely with respect to the conveyor, that is at right angles to the-line of travel of the conveyor. Signatures having such a large transverse dimension occur typically where the printed matter of the signature is in a twoup array which is ultimately split when the gathering operations have been completed and the books assembled. Here it should be noted that the hopper 36 can be used with an arm-gatherer.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show hopper 56 which is another embodiment of hopper 12 of FIG. 1. Hopper 56 is particu-' larly suited for delivering heavy signatures such as newspaper sections 11 to a high speed gatherer such, for example, as the type used in feeding a high speed newspaper stuffing machine. The fourth conveyor or speeder belt 25 passes around idler rollers 57 mounted upon shaft 58. The hopper for receiving the newspaper sections from conveyor 25 comprises bottom plate 59 having edge portion 590 thereof disposed adjacent to guide bar 60. Side jogger 61 which forms a side of a hopper has its lower edge portion 610 extending spaced apart and parallel with respect to rounded guide 60.

. The opening or space between the rounded guide and edge portion 61a of the side jogger forms the opening through which the newspaper sections are removed by a gatherer mechanism, a portion of which is identified by reference numeral 62 in FIG. 7.

At the side of the hopper opposite to jogger 61 there is disposed fixed side plate 63. As shown in FIG. 6 plate 64 which extends vertically with respect to the hopper and for a portion of the distance between the side jogger and the side plate 63 forms an end wall portion of the hopper. At the opposite end of the hopper adjacent to conveyor 25, there is disposed end jogger 65 (FIGS.6and 7).

Upon passing beyond the end portion of conveyor 25 the leading edge of the fold of the newspaper section 11 which intersects each page of the section enters upon guide plate 66 which extends upwardly and outwardly from jogger plate 67. Jogger plate 67 is provided with a pair of supporting brackets 68 attached to the jogger plate. Lower end portion 68a of each of the brackets are pivotally mounted with respect to pins 69 which are mounted on hangers 70. In turn, the hangers are secured by clamps 71 to bar 72 which is a portion of the frame of the machine. In this way the side jogger can be swung about the axis defined by pins 69 and with respect to the interior of the hopper.

The drive for the side jogger originates with motor 73 which is coupled by belt 74 to pulley 75. Pulley 75 is connected to shaft 76 which drives eccentric 77. Eccentric 77 is provided with drive pin 78. Link 79 is pivotally attached to pin 78 at one end thereof and to adjustment rod 80 at the other end thereof. Rod end 81 connects arm 82 by means of pivot 83 to the side jogger by means of screw 84. The rotation of shaft 76 drives eccentric 77 andthereby orbits pin 78. The orbital movement of the pin is transmitted as a reciprocating motion to the side jogger.

End jogger 65 is provided with brackets 85 spaced apart and attached thereto. In turn, the brackets are pivotally mounted with respect to frame member 86 by means of pin 87 extending through the brackets and an opening in the frame member. By means of link 88 coupled to an eccentric (not shown) which is similar to eccentric 77 a reciprocating motion is transmitted to push-pull cable 89. By means of rod 90 connected to the cable and rod end 91 pivotally connected to one of the brackets by pivot 92, a reciprocating or swinging motion is imparted to end jogger 65. The eccentric for cable 89 which is spaced apart along shaft 76 from eccentric 77 is adjustably positioned in a circumferential manner with respect to shaft 76. By selecting the relative position of the eccentric with respect to shaft 76 as compared to that of eccentric 77 with respect toshaft 76, the phase of movement of the side jogger with respect to the end jogger can be determined.

Experience has shown that for heavy signatures such as the sections of a newspaper, the sections can be effectively worked as they descend in the hopper if the side jogger and the end jogger are operated out of phase such as out of phase. The result of an out of phase operation is that the section is subjected to alternate blows from the side jogger and the end jogger with the result that the sections assume a shimmy-like motion in a horizontal plane as the sections descend in the hopper. This motion reduces the friction between adjacent sections and at the same time enables the two joggers to work the sections down into the hopper where they are ultimately flush against the lower por tion of the side jogger. The lower portion of the side jogger has a minimum degree of reciprocating motion since it is nearest to the pivotal axis defined by pins 69.

As the leading portion of the fold of the section which extends across each page of the newspaper advances along guide plane 66, the reciprocating motion of the guide plate as well as the angular position of its surface causes the section to move to the right as viewed in FIG. 7 as the section advances in a direction extending into the drawing. This action assists the section in floating across the upper portion of the hopper as the section leaves the support of conveyor 25. Consequently, the section remains substantially level, that is to say in a horizontal plane, when the section becomes free of plate 66 and is ready to drop into the hopper.

Moving the side jogger with respect to a nominal position inclined toward the interior of the hopper assists in bringing the sections into a stack within the hopper which is tilted slightly to the right as shown in FIG. 7. Similarly, the angle of side plate 63 assists in forming the slightly tilted stack. The inclination of bottom plate 59 as shown in 57 assists in presenting the bottommost section 11 to the gatherer mechanism and facilitates the removal of the bottommost section. The jogging action of jogger 65 insures that the sections not only are subjected to a shimmy-like motion but also that the sections ultimately reside flush against plate 64 as the sections approach the lower portion of the hopper.

It has been found to be of advantage to apply jets of compressed air from side jogger and between the sections as they descend in the hopper. It is felt that the jets of air serve to impart a floating force to the sections so that they can move relative to one another under the influence of the joggers as they descend. Manifolds 94 formed within brackets 68 provide passages for delivering compressed gas such as air to a plurality of nozzles 95 extending through side jogger plate 67. By way of example, nozzleshaving a diameter of approximately one-sixteenth inch have been used in conjunction with shop air of a standard factory supply in the range of about 90 psi when handling newspaper sections in the hopper of the invention.

Hose 96 couples air valve 97 to the-manifolds. Hose 98 connects an air supply (not shown) to the valve. Similarly as in the case of the side jogger, the motion required to operate lever 99 of the valve to open and close the valve is derived from pin 78 coupled to concentric 77. Thus rod end 100 couples pin 78 to pushpull cable 101. At the opposite end of the cable 101, it is coupled by rod end 102 to crank 103 having cam surface 104. Crank 103 is pivotally supported about pin 105. When the cable 101 is reciprocating, cam surface 104 is subjected to a swinging motion which in turn is transmitted to roller follower 106 attached to lever 99 of air valve 97. In this way the compressed air to be delivered by nozzles 95 can be cyclically turned on and off. Since both the side jogger plate and the air valve are controlled from the same eccentric, it is possible and desirable to provide a blast of air for each cycle of motion of the jogger plate. The operation of valve 97 can be conditioned to deliver the blast of air at various times during the cycle of motion of the jogger plate. It has been found to be of advantage when handling heavy signatures such as newspaper sections to apply the blast of air as the side jogger plate moves toward the sections within the hopper so that they experience the floating action resulting from the air as they are worked by the side jogger plate.

What is claimed is:

l. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper from which the sheet material is to be subsequently released, the hopper being adapted to receive the sheet material adjacent one end portion thereof and to have the sheet material released from another portion of the hopper disposed at a distance from the one end portion, the hopper being adapted to support a stack of the sheet material with the surface of each sheet being substantially contiguous with the sheets adjacent thereto, the method comprising the steps of:

a. sensing the presence of a stack of sheet material of less than a substantially predetermined size within the hopper;

b. delivering a flow of the sheet material toward the one end portion of the hopper, the delivering of the sheet material being in response to the sensing of a stack of sheet material within the hopper less than the substantially predetermined stack;

c. while the stack is less than a predetermined size, periodically interrupting the delivering of the flow of sheet material after a predetermined duration of delivery and for a predetermined additional duration, the interrupting of the delivering producing bursts of sheet material being delivered to the hopper; and

. terminating the delivering of the sheet material in response to the sensing of a stack of sheet material in the hopper of a desired size.

2. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 1 in which the step of interrupting the delivering of the flow of sheet material for a predetermined additional duration comprises interrupting the delivering of the flow of sheet material for an additional duration which enables the flow of sheet material preceding the interrupting of the delivering thereof to be substantially delivered into the hopper.

3. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 1 in which the step of deliver.- ing a flow of the sheet material toward the one end portion of the hopper comprises:

i. conveying the sheet material from one conveyor to another conveyor and conveying the sheet material from the other conveyor to the hopper in response to the sensing of the stack of sheet material within the hopper less than the substantially predetermined stack, and

ii. in which the step of interrupting the delivering of the flow of sheet material comprises interrupting the conveying of the material on the one conveyor while maintaining the conveying of the material on the other conveyor,

whereby the additional conveying of the sheet material on the other conveyor enables the flow of sheet material preceding the step of interrupting to the hopper to be delivered into the hopper.

4. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 1 and further comprising the step of jogging the stack of sheet material within the hopper and the portion of the flow of the sheet material being delivered which is within the hopper, the jogging enabling substantially even and uniform stack to be maintained within the hopper.

5. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 4 in which the step of jogging comprises cyclically applying force substantially to an edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper.

6. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 5 in which the step of jogging by applying force substantially to an edge portion of the sheet material comprises applying a level of force which varies along the height of the stack of sheet material within the hopper and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, the varying of the level of force enabling the sheet material to be directed to a substantially even and uniform stack.

7. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 4 in whichthe step of jogging comprises jogging the edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, the edge portion being in a substantially facing relationship with respect to the flow of sheetmaterial being delivered.

8. A method of delivering sheet material in accordance with claim 4 in which the step of jogging comprises jogging the edge portion of the sheet material which is in a substantially parallel relationship with respect to the direction of flow of the sheet material being delivered.

9. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 4 and further comprising the step of supporting substantially the edge portion of the sheet material to be jogged as the sheet material is being delivered to the hopper to assist in the direction of the sheet material toward the stack within the hopper.

10. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 9 in which the step of supporting substantially an edge portion of the sheet material to which the jogging is applied comprises supporting the edge portion by engaging it with a reciprocating surface which extends substantially parallel to the surface of the sheet material.

11. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 4 in which the step of jogging comprises:

i. jogging the edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, the edge portion extending in a substantially facing relationship with respect to the flow of sheet material being delivered; and

. additionally jogging the edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, the edge portion to which the additional jogging is applied extending substantially parallel to the direction of flow of the sheet material being delivered.

12. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 11 in which the step of jogging and the step of additionally jogging are actuated substantially out of phase with one another in order to cause the sheet material to move with a motion in the hopper resolvable into orthogonal components.

13. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 4 and further comprising the step of cyclically directing at least one blast of a gaseous fluid toward the sheet material within the hopper in a direction extending substantially between the surfaces of said sheet material in the hopper to maintain at least a degree of separation between adjacent surfaces of the sheet material in order that the sheet material can be jogged into a substantially even and uniform stack within the hopper.

14. A method of delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 13 in which the step of applying at least one blast of a gaseous fluid is applied substantially in phase with the jogging of the stack of the sheet material.

15. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper from which the sheet material is to be subsequently released, the hopper being adapted to receive the sheet material adjacent one end portion thereof and to have the sheet material released from another portion of the hopper disposed at a distance from the one end portion, the hopper being adapted to support a stack of the sheet material with the surface of each of the sheet material being substantially contiguous with the sheets adjacent thereto, said apparatus comprising:

a. means for sensing the presence of a stack of sheet material of less than a substantially predetermined size within the hopper;

. means for delivering a flow of the sheet materia toward the one end portion of the hopper, the activation of said delivering means being in response to the sensing by said sensing means of a stack of sheet material within the hopper less than the substantially predetermined stack;

c. means for periodically interrupting the delivering of the flow of sheet material by said delivering means while said stack is less than a predetermined size and after a predetermined duration of the operation thereof and for a predetermined additional duration, the interrupting of the delivering by said delivering means producing bursts of sheet material being delivered to the hopper; and

. means for terminating the delivering of the sheet material by said delivering means in response to the sensing by said sensing means of a stack of sheet material in the hopper of a desired size.

16. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 15 in which said means for delivering a flow of the sheet material toward the one end portion of the hopper comprises:

i. a conveyor;

ii. an additional conveyor having its entrance portion adjacent the exit portion of said conveyor and its exit portion adjacent the hopper, said additional conveyor conveying the sheet material from said conveyor to the hopper in response to the sensing by said sensing means of a stack of sheet material within the hopper less than the substantially predetermined size of stack, and i in which said means for interrupting the delivering of the flow of sheet material by said delivering means interrupts the conveying of the material on said conveyor while maintaining the conveying of the material on said other conveyor, whereby the additional conveying of the sheet material on said other conveyor delivers the flow of sheet material preceding the step of interrupting to the hopper.

17. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 15 and further comprising means for jogging the stack of sheet material within the hopper and the portion of the flow of the sheet material being delivered which is within the hopper, the jogging by said jogging means enabling a substantially even and uniform stack to be maintained within the hopper.

18. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 17 in which said means for jogging cyclically applies force substantially to an edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper.

19. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 17 in which said means for jogging by applying force substantially to an edge portion of the sheet material applies a level of force which varies along the height of the stack of sheet material within the hopper and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, the varying of the level of force bysaid jogging means enables the sheet material to be directed into a substantially even and uniform stack.

20. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 17 in which said means for jogging jogs the edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, said jogging means extending transversely with respect to the direction of the path of flow of sheet material being delivered and adjacent the portion of the hopper adjacent to said delivering means.

21. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 17 in which said jogging means further comprises means for supporting substantially the edge portion of the sheet material being jogged as it is being delivered to the hopper to assist in the directing of the sheet material being delivered toward the stack within the hopper.

22. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 17 in which said jogging means comprises:

i. a jogger for jogging the edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered by said delivering means which is in the hopper, the edge portion extending in a substantially facing relationship with respect to the flow of sheet material being delivered by said delivering means; and

ii. an additional jogger for jogging the edge portion of the sheet material within the stack and the sheet material being delivered which is in the hopper, the edge portion to which the additional jogger is applied extending substantially parallel to the direction of flow of the sheet material being delivered by said delivering means.

23. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 22 in which said jogger and said additional jogger are actuated substantially out of phase with one another in order to cause the sheet material to move with a motion in the hopper resolvable into orthogonal components.

24. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 17 and further comprising means for cyclically directing at least one blast of a gaseous fluid toward the sheet material within the hopper in a direction extending substantially between the surfaces of the sheet material in the hopper to maintain at least a degree of separation between adjacent surfaces of the sheet material in order that the sheet material can be jogged into a substantially even and uniform stack within the hopper.

25. Apparatus for delivering sheet material to a hopper in accordance with claim 24 in which said means for applying at least one blast of a gaseous fluid is actuated substantially in phase with the jogging of the stack of the sheet material by said jogging means.

26. Apparatus for stacking sheet material in an oriented relationship with the edges in vertical alignment, said apparatus including;

source means for providing a supply of the sheet material to be stacked,

conveyor means for feeding signatures from said source means to the stack,

drive means for driving said conveyor means,

means for discontinuing the feeding of said conveyor means when a stack of a desired size has been completed, and

control means for intermittently interrupting the drive of said drive means for intermittent predetermined period while a stack is being made whereby the interrupting of the drive of said conveyor means produces bursts of sheet material being delivered to the stack for stacking.

27. The apparatus of claim 26 and further including, jogging means operatively associated with the hopper, said jogging means including means for applying force substantially to the edge portion of each sheet material as it settles onto the stack and to an edge portion of the sheet material within the stack.

28. Apparatus including a hopper for receiving a flow of sheet material to form a stack within the hopper and for subsequently releasing the sheet material from the end of the stack opposite to which the sheet material is delivered, said apparatus comprising:

a laterally extending member for supporting the stack of sheet material which is in the hopper with one edge portion of said member forming an opening with the structure of the hopper through which the sheet material can be released,

delivery means for delivering a flow of the sheet material to the hopper with the surface of each of the sheet material being generally parallel to the upper surface of the stack,

plate means forming at least a portion of a wall of said hopper extending upwardly from adjacent said member, said plate means being pivotedly mounted with respect to said hopper adjacent the lower portion of said plate means with the pivot axis being substantially parallel to the flow of sheet material being delivered to enable the surface of said plate means adjacent to the interior of the hopper to be swung in a facing relationship with respect to the interior of the hopper and an edge portion of each of the sheet material,

said plate means further including a supporting surface on the upper portion thereof with said supporting surface being adjacent to the delivery end of said delivery means and generally aligned with the path of travel of at least an edge portion of the sheet material as it passes from the delivery means whereby said supporting surface engages and supports said sheet material as it is passing from the delivery means and before the sheet material descends toward the hopper, and

means for moving said plate with a swinging motion about the pivotal mounting thereof to enable said supporting surface to impart direction to the sheet material supported thereon in a direction transverse to the path of flow of the sheet material and to enable the inner surface of said plate facing the interior of said hopper to strike an edge portion of each of the sheet material settling into the hopper in order to assist the proper positioning of each of the sheet material upon the stack within the hopper.

29. Apparatus in accordance with claim 28 and further including means for cyclically directing a blast of gaseous fluid toward the sheet material within the hopper in a direction extending substantially between the surfaces of the sheet material to maintain at least a degree of separation between adjacent surfaces of the sheet material so that the sheet material can be jogged into a substantially even and uniform stack within the hopper, and

means for cyclically actuating the blast of gaseous fluid substantially in phase with said means for moving said plate means with a swinging motion.

30. Apparatus including a hopper for receiving a flow of sheet material to form a stack within the hopper and for subsequently releasing the sheet material from the end of the stack opposite to which the sheet material is delivered, said apparatus comprising:

a laterally extending member for supporting the stack of sheet material which is in the hopper with one edge portion of said member forming an opening with the structure of the hopper through which the sheet material can be released,

delivery means for delivering a flow of the sheet material to the hopper with the surface of each of the sheet material being generally parallel to the upper surface of the stack,

plate means forming at least a portion of a wall of said hopper extending upwardly from adjacent said member, said plate means being pivotedly mounted with respect to said hopper adjacent the lower portion of said plate means with the pivot axis being substantially transverse to the flow of sheet material being delivered to enable the surface of said plate means adjacent to the interior of the hopper to be swung in a facing relationship with respect to the interior of the hopper and an edge portion of each of the sheet material,

said plate means further including a supporting surface on the upper portion thereof with said supporting surface being adjacent to the delivery end of said delivery means and engageable with said sheet material as it is passing from the delivery means,

said supporting surface comprising structure forming a curved surface extending transversely with respect to the path of the flow of sheet material being delivered and in which the radius of curvature of said curved surface decreases from adjacent the portion of said curved surface facing the flow of sheetmaterial to the portion of the curved surface facing the interior of the hopper,

means for moving said plate means with a swinging tion of the sheet material as the aterial settles into the hopper thereby to assist t e proper positioning of each sheet upon the stack within the hopper.

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Reference
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Classifications
U.S. Classification271/211, 414/795.8, 271/3.2, 414/788.2, 414/797.6, 414/788.4, 271/3.5, 414/789.1, 414/794.4, 271/221
International ClassificationB65H5/00, B41F13/64, B41F13/54
Cooperative ClassificationB41F13/64, B65H5/00
European ClassificationB65H5/00, B41F13/64
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 27, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: AM INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED, A DE. CORP., ILLINO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005018/0144
Effective date: 19881006
Oct 17, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: HARRIS GRAPHICS CORPORATION MELBOURNE, FL A DE CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HARRIS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004227/0467
Effective date: 19830429